Decision of the Bureau: 14.COM 2.BUR 5.4

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
  2. Having examined Document LHE/19/14.COM 2.BUR/5 as well as International Assistance request no. 01528 submitted by Mauritania,
  3. Takes note that Mauritania has requested International Assistance for the project entitled National Oral Traditions (NOT), additional collection component:

The proposed six-month project is an additional component of the National Oral Traditions (NOT) project, to be implemented by the Mauritanian Institute for Research and Training in Heritage and Culture (IMRFPC). The project was set up in 2015 to safeguard and enhance the sound corpus of the IMRFPC. Despite the high value of the corpus of oral traditions housed at the IMRFPC, it is not very representative of the country’s regions. This project is thus aimed at conducting an additional campaign to collect oral traditions from communities not originally targeted, giving priority to groups whose heritage is absent from written tradition, with the overall objective of supporting the safeguarding of local oral traditions through documentation, data collection and capacity building. Specifically, the project proposes to train resource persons from within the communities, prioritize the safeguarding of oral traditions at risk, correct a geographical and linguistic imbalance in previous collections, update the NOT project database and website, improve the technical and scientific skills of selected individuals and involve local associations and community representatives in safeguarding living heritage. At the end of this additional component, the project would thus make a more comprehensive, representative corpus of oral traditions from different regions and communities of Mauritania available to the public.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the local level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Mauritania has requested assistance in the amount of US$90,562 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01528, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: The request was prepared based on consultations with and the involvement of communities from the regions Hodh Chargui, Hodh Al Gharbi, Assaba, Trarza, Guidimakha, Tagant and Tiris-Zemmour in Mauritania, who will be the primary beneficiaries of the project. The project foresees that the communities concerned will designate the resource persons themselves, who will be trained to support the collection of data on oral traditions at the local level and ensure that the project contributes to efficient community-based safeguarding of living heritage.

Criterion A.2: The budget generally corresponds to the planned activities throughout the request, with sufficient detail provided, and the overall amount is appropriate.

Criterion A.3: The activities are well-designed and feasible in relation to the timeframe proposed and include training, field missions and different stages of data collection and processing such as sound treatment, filing, cataloguing and the updating of a dedicated data base and website. Each activity is clearly identified and corresponds to the objectives and expected results outlined in the request. The attention paid to the linguistic specificity of the project is noteworthy as the request foresees the inclusion of a supervisor for each of the three languages of the pilot communities, to support community-based inventorying.

Criterion A.4: The project may have lasting results as it could also encourage similar initiatives for the safeguarding of oral traditions in other regions of Mauritania. Moreover, communities may benefit from the work of the archiving units to be established under the project in the regions concerned even after the completion of the project.

Criterion A.5: The State Party is committed to sharing 20 per cent of the cost of the project.

Criterion A.6: The State Party confirms that the project could strengthen community members’ capacities to undertake subsequent efforts to inventory their living heritage and develop safeguarding plans. The training of resource persons from seven regions of the country designated among community members will make it possible not only to support experts in the implementation of the project, but also to help identify new resource persons within the communities who could play an important role in the safeguarding process in the future.

Criterion A.7: Mauritania received preparatory assistance in the amount of US$9,800 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the preparation of a nomination to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009 (file no. 00487). In addition, it was one of three beneficiary countries of a capacity-building project for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (2013–2018) funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to voluntary supplementary contributions from Norway and Spain (Generalitat de Catalunya); work stipulated by contracts with national counterparts related to this project was carried out in compliance with UNESCO regulations. Finally, the State Party received financial assistance from UNESCO under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to implement the project entitled ‘Strengthening the capacities of NGOs active in the field of intangible cultural heritage in Mauritania’ granted by the Bureau in June 2018 by its Decision 13.COM 1.BUR 3.7. This project is currently being implemented by the Conservation Nationale du Patrimoine Culturel.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners. It will be affiliated with the Mauritanian Institute for Research and Training in Heritage and Culture and does not foresee cooperation at the bilateral, regional or international levels.

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to allow communities to identify and document oral traditions, especially those at risk, the practice and transmission of which are expected to continue after the termination of the project. It could also potentially lead to other forms of future cooperation between stakeholders involved to raise further awareness about living heritage.
  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Mauritania for the project entitled National Oral Traditions (NOT), additional collection component and grants the amount of US$90,562 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04 Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.